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Samsung Life shares jump after record IPO

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 7:30pm
The Associated Press

Samsung Life Insurance shares jumped nearly 9 percent in their first day of trading in South Korea after a $4.3 billion initial public offering that set a record as the country's largest.

The shares opened Wednesday at 119,500 won ($104.69), some 8.6 percent above the IPO price of 110,000 won. They later surrendered some of those gains to trade at 114,500 won.

The IPO was South Korea's biggest, according to Kang Seung-ju, an official at the Korea Exchange, the stock market operator.

A total of 44,437,420 shares were offered to the public with a value of about 4.9 trillion won ($4.3 billion) at the IPO price. That far exceeded the previous record IPO by Korea Life Insurance earlier this year of 1.78 trillion won.

Samsung Life is South Korea's biggest life insurer and a key company in the Samsung Group conglomerate, which is spearheaded by Samsung Electronics Co. The closely watched IPO drew strong interest from investors.

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee is the biggest investor in Samsung Life, holding 20.76 percent of the total 200 million listed shares, according to Samsung Life. His stake is worth about 4.75 trillion won at the current share price.

Samsung Life became the fourth-biggest company on the Korea Exchange with a market capitalization of 22.9 trillion won, ranking behind Samsung Electronics, steelmaker Posco and Hyundai Motor Co., according to the exchange.

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